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France Tag

Overnight Eastern time a Kosher supermarket in Paris was attacked. Reports indicate two people killed and multiple people being held hostage. Meanwhile, the murderers of the the staff of Charlie Hebdo apparently are cornered and also have one or more hostages. UPDATES: France Hostage Takers Attackers Charlie Kosher Supermarket Sky News Four Hostages Dead Sky News Hostages Freed Jewish Grocery

There was an attack on a French satirical publication, Charlie Hebdo, using automatic weapons and a rocket-propelled grenade, killing 12. The killers are at large as of this writing. The NY Times reports:
Masked gunmen with automatic weapons opened fire in the offices of a French satirical newspaper on Wednesday in Paris, the police said, killing 12 people and then escaping in a car. President François Hollande said the attack on the weekly, Charlie Hebdo, was “without a doubt” an act of terrorism and raised the nationwide terror alert to its highest status. He said that several terrorist attacks had been thwarted in recent weeks.... A senior French prosecutor said the victims included two police officers, including one assigned to guard the newspaper’s offices and its top editor. The second officer was shot and killed as he lay on the ground, the police said.... [A] United States official noted that, according to social media reports, the attackers did refer to the Prophet Muhammad, saying he was “avenged.”
(More video and Twitter updates later in post)

In recent weeks, we have covered dozens of instances of violence and harassment reflecting a simmering convergence of anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism worldwide, but particularly in Europe. In Paris, the situation is particularly dire: Cnaan Lipshiz writing in The Times of Israel, adds context that in Paris, the violence simply has become routine, a part of the background, Coming face to face with anti-Semites in Paris:
My friend Alain Azria gave me a puzzled look when I told him, with some indignation and disbelief in my voice, that I had just heard talk of killing Jews at an unauthorized anti-Israel demonstration last month in Paris A young black man with a Parisian accent told a dozen friends loudly, but without shouting, “OK, guys. Let’s go hunt some Jews.”

We've documented many times the open anti-Semitism that infuses many "pro-Palestinian" anti-Israel rallies around the world, including the United States. In Paris, scene of vicious anti-Jewish protests, another protest today Thousands protest Gaza operation in Paris, some with Nazi-like 'quenelle' salute:
Several thousand gathered in Place de la République in Paris, France to protest the Israeli operation in the Gaza Strip on Saturday, defying a state ban on the demonstration. Protesters chanted "Israel is an assassin, Holland is an accomplice" and "we are all Palestinians," and some were seen gesturing the quenelle, a reverse Nazi-salute, AFP reported. Tension mounted as hundreds of protesters, some masked, began throwing stones and projectiles at police who responded with tear gas. "This event is illegal, but for us it is more than legitimate. This is to show our solidarity with people who are now being massacred," Hugo, a New Anti-Capitalist Party (NPA) activist, told AFP. The NPA decided to defy the ban and hold the protest as planned in an assertion of the party's "solidarity with the Palestinian people," NPA leader Olivier Besancenot said. Earlier, France's interior minister called on the protest's organizers to observe the order, fearing anti-Semitic violence. In The Hague, Netherlands, meanwhile, Dutch News reports, The Hague mayor urged to get tough after anti-Jewish chanting at rally(via Jihad Watch):

While I had seen the images and videos, I did not realize the depth of the depravity exhibited in the anti-Jewish riots in Paris. HuffPo UK reports, France's Jews Flee As Rioters Burn Paris Shops, Attack Synagogue:
France's politicians and community leaders have criticised the "intolerable" violence against Paris' Jewish community, after a pro-Palestinian rally led to the vandalizing and looting of Jewish businesses and the burning of cars. It is the third time in a week where pro-Palestinian activists have clashed with the city's Jewish residents. On Sunday, locals reported chats of "Gas the Jews" and "Kill the Jews", as rioters attacked businesses in the Sarcelles district, known as "little Jerusalem". Manuel Valls, France's prime minister said: “What happened in Sarcelles is intolerable. An attack on a synagogue and on a kosher shop is simply anti-Semitism. Nothing in France can justify this violence.”
The HuffPo post has numerous photos. The Times [of London] Europe Edition reports, Jewish shops set ablaze in Paris’s Little Jerusalem:

On the streets of Paris today, a crowd of anti-Israel protesters surrounded and attacked a Synagogue full of worshippers, throwing rocks and attacking the building, via Times of Israel:
Several thousand demonstrators walked calmly through the streets of Paris behind a large banner that read “Total Support for the Struggle of the Palestinian People”. But clashes erupted at the end of the march on Bastille Square, with people throwing projectiles onto a cordon of police who responded with tear gas. The unrest was continuing early Sunday evening. Media reports said that hundreds of Jews were trapped inside a synagogue in the area and police units were sent to rescue them. A person in the synagogue told Israel’s Channel 2 news that protesters hurled stones and bricks at the building, “like it was an intifada.”

Yesterday, President Obama announced America should aspire to be more like France when supplying employee benefits. The Washington Examiner reports:
“Other countries know how to do this,” Obama said. “If France can figure this out, we can figure it out.” “Many women can't even get a paid day off to give birth,” Obama said. “There is only one developed country in the world that does not offer paid maternity leave, and that is us. And that is not a list you want to be on, by your lonesome.”
On the surface, this sounds like a fair enough argument, but then so does raising the minimum wage... until you consider the numeric reality. Unlike the United States, France's unemployment rate clocks in at a steady 10% for workers over 25. Under 25, the rate is closer to 25% unemployed. For perspective, the US and the UK both hover around a 6% unemployment rate. But that's not the only factor worth considering. Remember the infamous 75% tax? That was France, all France. Take a look at where France ranks in taxation comparable to the United States: [caption id="attachment_90228" align="aligncenter" width="639"]Source: Tax Policy Center Source: Tax Policy Center[/caption] Tax conditions in France are so horrid, that entrepreneurs are fleeing to countries with more agreeable taxation rates. The New York Times discussed this phenomenon. This aspiring entrepreneur left for the UK:
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